MODERN GHOST TOWNS
I recently moved from Portland, Oregon to Berlin, Germany, but took an extended vacation in the Mojave desert to spend time with family. I was forced to confront the change within myself that happened during the six years I was away. My childhood friends gave me this look, as to communicate, 'you look lost'. I wondered how they knew.
This was the era where I offered a flask of gin to my dad while we watched my mom sing with a guy who is big in the Philippines.
The way I processed most things was by doing nothing while I lounged by hotel pools or sunbathed on slabs of cement. I became desensitized to churches in strip malls, the abundance of 99 cent shrimp cocktail, pickup trucks used as a flagpoles, pawn shop drive-thrus and nostalgic diners used as something else other than a restaurant.
This was the era where my mom and I drove out to the middle of nowhere, on the hunt for towns that no longer exist. They used to be thriving just a few decades ago. It's strange to look over remains and think, 'that's freshly abandoned'.
I insisted that we spend our free weekends driving towards the center of the state. The region became less of a geographical point, and more of a symbol of total chaos and total freedom. That was most apparent when we spent some time parked in front of mobile homes used as brothels.
This was the era of something bigger than I imagined.
Photography & Words Colette Pomerleau